Matt Ritchie: There are NO ‘superstars’ in this Newcastle team

Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie (right) and Southampton's Nathan Redmond battle for the ball.
Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie (right) and Southampton's Nathan Redmond battle for the ball.
0
Have your say

Matt Ritchie says Newcastle are united in more than just name – as they don’t have any superstars in their ranks.

Rafa Benitez’s side are ninth in the Premier League with eight games played.

We’re not going to be a team with superstars. It’s about the team as a collective. Everyone has to be together.

Matt Ritchie

Newcastle left the St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday, where they drew 2-2 with Southampton, disappointed not to have taken all three points.

The team was disjointed and disorganised under Steve McClaren two seasons ago.

Benitez, however, has moulded a very different team over the past 19 months.

And winger Ritchie believes the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

The winger said: “Togetherness is the key for us.

“We’re not going to be a team with superstars. It’s about the team as a collective. Everyone has to be together.

“It’s not going to be about 11 of us. It’s going to need everyone. There are 25 in the squad, and we’re all going to have to contribute. We need to continue fighting.

“We’ve come away from Southampton a bit disappointed not to have taken the three points, and that’s a positive thing.”

Southampton twice came from behind against Newcastle, who had been well beaten on their three previous visits to the St Mary’s Stadium.

“We know it’s a tough league, but we’ve got a good squad with good players,” said Ritchie. “We’ve said right through this season that togetherness is key. We showed that in abundance again at Southampton with the way we got across the pitch, and shuffled across in our units to close off any gaps.

“We frustrated them, and although we tired a bit in the second half, I still think it was a really good performance.”

Isaac Hayden and Ayoze Perez were on target against Southampton, who claimed a point thanks to a 75th-minute penalty from Manolo Gabbiadini.

“We’ve shown this season that we’ve got goals right through the team,” said Ritchie. “The two lads who scored at the weekend were getting their first goals of the season, and it’s great to see everybody chipping in.

“That’s what we need. We need goals and assists from everywhere, and if you’re getting that from all over the pitch, it can only be a good thing.”

United had a lot of success in the Championship last season playing on the counter-attack.

And Ritchie feels the team are getting the balance right between defence and attack away from home.

“You have to get the balance of your game right,” said Ritchie. “In the Premier League, especially away from home, the most important thing is that you have to stay in the game.

“We look to stay in things for as long as we can, and then hopefully we can take advantage of that.

“We’ve shown the games this season that we pride ourselves in having a good shape and building off that.

“I think we did that again at Southampton.”